Clement Gives Pizza Bianca A Freshening, Prepares Mutamakina, La Dragontea For Long Island Next - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Clement Gives Pizza Bianca A Freshening, Prepares Mutamakina, La Dragontea For Long Island Next

Trainer Christophe Clement returned to his primary thoroughbred division at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., earlier this week in victorious fashion, having thwarted a winless record in the Breeders' Cup World Championships when Pizza Bianca captured the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.

Owned and bred by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Pizza Bianca arrived at the Juvenile Fillies Turf off a good second in the G1 Natalma on September 19 at Woodbine.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock, expertly piloted by Jose Ortiz in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, found a seam in between horses in upper stretch and collared European invader Cachet in the final furlong to win by a neck over late-rallying Malavath.

Clement said Pizza Bianca will be freshened with an eye towards NYRA's filly division of the Turf Triple series, which kicks off with the G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational.

“It was very nice,” Clement said of the Breeders' Cup victory. “She's having a break at the moment, and we'll bring her back next year. She could be one that will eventually be a candidate for the Turf Triple series.”

The following day, Clement saddled Otter Band Stables' Gufo to a 10th-place finish in the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf, which was won by Jockey Club Derby Invitational winner Yibir.

The effort was a first off-the-board finish for the 4-year-old Declaration of War chestnut, who captured the G1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational in August at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Clement mentioned the possibility of shipping Gufo to the Middle East, targeting races like the Neom Turf Cup at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Saudi Arabia and the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

“He's at Payson Park having a break at the moment,” Clement said. “There are races in Saudi and Dubai or the [Grade 1] Man o' War [at Belmont Park]. They're all great choices.”

Clement said Gufo, who was headstrong in his third-place finish in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last month at Belmont, could remove blinkers for his next start.

“The main question is whether or not we keep the blinkers on him,” Clement said. “He was a bit aggressive in the middle of the race here and I thought about taking the blinkers off for the Breeders' Cup. Because the Breeders' Cup was in California, I felt that I would be better off to have him a touch more on the bridle than off the bridle. If the Breeders' Cup were elsewhere with a more kinder turf course I would probably have taken them off. We'll just have to think about it.”

Gufo brags a consistent record of 14-7-2-4 with earnings in excess of $1.2 million. In addition to the Sword Dancer, Gufo also captured the G1 Belmont Derby Invitational last year as well as three other stakes races.

On Sunday morning, Al Shira'aa Farms' Mutamakina breezed an easy half-mile in :52.22 over the Belmont inner turf in preparation for the $400,000 G3 Long Island on November 27 at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.

The 5-year-old Nathaniel mare defeated stablemate La Dragontea last out in the G1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine Racetrack, following a triumph in the G2 Dance Smarty on August 22 at the Toronto oval.

“She had a nice work. She'll work once more next week,” Clement said.

Clement said La Dragontea, winner of the G2 Canadian on September 18 at Woodbine, and graded stakes-placed Sorrel are also possible candidates for the 12-furlong stamina test.

“Mutamakina for sure will run. The other two, we'll see how they train next week and go from there,” Clement said.

Sorrel, an Augustin Stable and James Wigan homebred, was last seen finishing third in her North American debut to War Like Goddess in the G3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The daughter of Dansili went a half-mile in :52.34 over the Belmont inner turf on Sunday morning.

“If the ground is on the firmer side, I'll run her in the Long Island. If it's too soft, I don't think I will,” Clement said.

Manzanita Stables' Tap the Faith, who broke her maiden at first asking on Sunday going a one-turn mile at Belmont, is a possible candidate for the $250,000 G2 Demoiselle on December 4 at Aqueduct.

“Today was her first day back galloping and she looks great,” Clement said. “We'll work her next weekend and decide what to do with her. I really like the filly, and if she's training great and doing great, we'll go for it.”

By Tapit, Tap the Faith is out of Grade 1 winner Embellish the Lace.

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